Tuesday, December 20, 2016

A Ham's Night Before Christmas

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Panama City Amateur Radio Club!

The story behind the video and the live version below.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Interested in the Birds?

A number of PCARC club members including Bob KK4DIV, Jim KK4LIX and Greg N4KGL have started experimenting with amateur radio satellites. If you are curious about satellite comms join the discussion at the PCARC clubhouse at the Wednesday meetings.

This article has good background but the satellite specifics are going out of date.

Here is another on-line resource and it has the current satellite info

Jim K4LIX has built his own satellite antenna.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Panama City ARC Fall Tailgate is Oct 22nd

The Panama City Amateur Radio Club is sponsoring a tailgate on Saturday Oct 22nd, 9 AM until 1 PM. Buy, sell or swap ham radio gear. Limited tables are available for $5 on a first come first serve basis.  Drinks and snacks are available. License testing at 1 PM. Bring $14, picture ID and copy of license if upgrading. The location is the Panama City Amateur Radio Club, 130 N. Church Ave Panama City, FL. The talk-in repeater is W4RYZ 145.210 minus no tone. Questions about this event can be sent to panamacityarc@gmail.com.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Panama City ARC participates in the 2016 ARRL Field Day

The Panama City Amateur Radio Club participated in the 2016 ARRL Field Day on June 25/26 at the Bay County Emergency Operations Center in Southport, Florida. Hundreds of contacts were made with other amateur radio stations in the United States and Canada. This demonstrates our capability to communicate without phones or internet should those service be unavailable due to a disaster situation. This was done in coordination with the Bay County Emergency Communication Director, Mr. Joby Smith. We also had a liaison with the local Red Cross.

This is an activity the club members enjoy. We were active on the air for the entire 24 hours of the event. Our radios were setup inside and outside of the EOC. A variety of antennas were outside in the parking lot and behind the building. The outside site station was operated entirely on batteries with the aid of solar panels. Messages were passed via radio with to the National Traffic System. We got some young people on the air. The public and media were invited. The Panama City News Herald did an excellent article on the event. An Amateur Radio Test Session was held and new amateur radio operators got on the air for the first time.

Our hobby offers many of educational, pastime and service opportunities. Contact the Panama City Amateur Radio Club at panamacityarc@gmail.com to learn more.

Click here for additional photos.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Panama City ARC hosts Amateur Radio Field Day on June 25th & 26th

The Panama City Amateur Radio Club will participate in ARRL Field Day on June 27/28 at the Bay County Emergency Operations Center 700 Highway 2300 Southport, FL. We will be having fun contacting as many Hams as possible operating with similar setups around the United States. However, this will also demonstrate a capability to support emergency communications should normal systems be unavailable. The operating hours are 1 PM Saturday to 1 PM Sunday. A good time for visitors is between 2PM and 6PM Saturday but you can come at anytime. We will have various radios and antennas to operate voice, digital and morse code. The general public is welcome and youth groups are encouraged to attend.

The Bay County Emergency Operations Center is on Highway 2300. However Highway 2300 will be closed for construction. Please use the detour using Highway 2302 West at Highway 77 in Southport, Florida and follow the signs to Highway 2300 then head East to the EOC/Gulf Coast State College North Campus.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Wires-X Node is Available in Panama City

Wires-X is up and running on 146.595  simplex.  You must have a Fusion transceiver to use this mode.  Please feel free to use the node.  The Wires-X node is at latitude  30° 11.729'N longitude  85° 40.447'W using a directional antenna pointing at about 45 degrees.  The transmitter is at 50 watts.  It is usually on America Link.  If you encounter any issues or need help accessing the node you can contact Jack at N1HQ@arrl.net. Also information can be found at https://www.yaesu.com/jp/en/wires-x/user/index.php You don’t have to be a registered user to look up nodes and other information.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Panama City ARC 2016 Tailgate was a Fun Event

The Panama City ARC Tailgate was held on April 16 2016. The weather was comfortable. Don KK4DWC headed up the event and sold raffle tickets. Phil N4STC won the FT-1DR Fusion HT. There was equipment for sale in and out of the club house. Sandy KE2F server the BBQ. A Fox Hunt was held on the site and Jack N1HQ found both foxes. There were about five hunters. There were serveral portable setups outside including Jim K4LIX, Cory N4UVR, Bob KK4DIV and Greg N4KGL All the setups had magnetic loop antennas. Jim had a particularly large one. Testing was provided by Gary AJ4KY at the end of the event.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Panama City ARC is having a Tailgate on April 16th

The Panama City Amateur Radio Club is sponsoring a tailgate on Saturday April 16th, 9 AM until 1 PM. Buy, sell or swap ham radio gear. Limited tables are available for $5 on a first come first serve basis. There will be raffle for a Yaesu Fusion HT. Lunch is available. License testing at 1 PM. Bring $14, picture ID and copy of license if upgrading. The location is the Panama City Amateur Radio Club, 130 N. Church Ave Panama City, FL. The talk-in repeater is W4RYZ 145.210 minus no tone. Questions about this event can be sent to panamacityarc@gmail.com.

A fox hunt will be held on site. Gather in the clubhouse at 10:50 for instructions. The hunt begins at 11:00. The fox frequency is 146.580. There may be multiple foxes. The winners will be rewarded with raffle tickets.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Registration is Open for April Technician Class

The Technician license is your gateway to the world-wide excitement of Amateur Radio  
  • Earn your ham radio Technician class radio privileges
  • Pass your FCC amateur radio license exam right in class on the second day
  • Multiple-choice exam, *No Morse Code Required*
  • Live equipment demonstrations
  • Learn to operate on the ham bands, 10 Meters and higher
  • Learn to use the many VHF/UHF FM repeaters in Florida
  • Find out how to participate in emergency communications
  • Find out how to communicate with astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS)
There is no cost for the class (donations accepted) However, students must have the required study guide: Gordon West Technician Class 2014-2018 guide, 7th Edition $20.95 And pay the FCC Exam Fee: $14.00  The text book is available on Amazon.

The two day class will be held on April 23rd and April 30th 2016 at the Panama City ARC Club House. Advance registration is required. To register for the class, contact: Gary Bills at panamacityarc@gmail.com  

Class Location: Panama City ARC Club House 130 N. Church Ave Panama City, FL. 

For more information on amateur (ham) radio visit www.w4ryz.org,  www.arrl.org or www.wedothat-radio.org

Monday, January 4, 2016

W4RYZ 145.210 Repeater Upgraded To Fusion

Happy New Year!

You may have noticed the repeater it sounding different.  The club has installed the new Fusion DR-1X repeater on Thursday (Dec 31, 2015).  It is running great and already I have seen an improvement in the repeater receiver sensitivity.  Over the next few weeks try it out and see what you think.  At this time the repeater is set up with what is thought to be the best settings.  As the club gets a better understanding of these settings on how they work for the way the club uses the repeater adjustments can be made.  Right now the repeater is set up this way:

1) The repeater is set up on "Automatic Mode Select" (AMS).  What this means is the repeater will adjust to the incoming signal mode (FM or Fusion) and repeat out the same mode.  When the repeater receives a FM signal a FM signal will be transmitted out.  When the repeater receives a Fusion signal a Fusion signal will be transmitted out.  For the ones with FM radios, when the repeater is being used in Fusion mode you will hear a continuous hum without audio.  Hearing the Hum you will know the repeater is in uses in Fusion mode and the repeater is not having problems.

2) There in no courtesy beep on this repeater to let you know when to transmit after someone stops transmitting.  Right now it is believed the repeater does not offer this.  The repeater carrier (Squelch Tail) is set for 2.5 seconds (the max setting).  That means the repeater will stay on for 2.5 seconds after the end of someone transmittion ends into the repeater.  Even without the courtesy beep you can tell someone has stopped transmitting because you will hear a hash sound when the incoming transmission stops.  You may think 2.5 seconds is not enough time but when you read about setting number three it will make better sense.    

3) The Time Out Timer (TOT) is set for three minutes.  This will most likely be adjusted to be longer.  What this means the repeater will time out after three minutes of continuous uses where the repeater does not drop out (stop transmitting) during that three minutes.  What needs to happen is to let the repeater drop out at least once within three minutes of continuous use where the TOT can reset. 

These are the settings being used right now that are different from the old repeater.  I am open to any comments and suggestions as the club gets more time using this repeater and see what it can do.  Please get on the air and use it and enjoy.


The install team included Bob Leasko WB8PAF, Jim McQuagge  K4LIX, Jack Crusan N1HQ, Bob Plank KK4DIV and Cory Welch N4UVR.

Bob Leasko WB8PAF, Jack Crusan N1HQ, Cory Welch N4UVR and Bob Plank KK4DIV (left to right)

See more photos at this link